Self-driving car company Waymo, which is owned by Alphabet Inc. is looking to get billions from Uber Technolgies.
According to Uber’s lawyers, Waymo wants Uber to pay them $2.6 billion in damages over a single instance of alleged trade secret theft.
Former Waymo executive Anthony Levandowski has been accused of stealing 14,000 files that contain trade secrets in the weeks before he quit and started his own self-driving trucking company Otto, which Uber eventually bought for $680 million.
According to emails in 2016, it is suggested that Uber’s founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick knew about the theft but had also warned Levandowskia bout bringing those secrets to his company. Uber denies that any secrets had been uploaded to their company’s servers.
Reuters has reported that this is the largest out of nine separate instances of theft that Waymo believes it can prove.
Total damages could amount to over $3 billion.
If Waymo succeeds in proving their case, Uber could be ordered by a judge to halt development of parts of its self-driving car program. This could be detrimental to the company’s long-term success.
Lawyers have been ordered by Judge William Alsup to return to court on October 3rd to set a trial date, however Waymo has said it needs more time to go through new evidence.
Disclaimer: We have no position in Alphabet Inc Class A (NASDAQ: GOOGL) and have not been compensated for this article.